Barry Hankerson

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Barry Hankerson
Born (1947-08-03) August 3, 1947 (age 71)[1]
Detroit, Michigan,[1] U.S.
Occupation(s)Entertainment manager, record label owner, record producer
Years active1988–present

Barry Hankerson (born August 3, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan) is an American record producer and manager who founded and ran Blackground Records.[2]


Hankerson served as Aaliyah's manager until 1995 when her father, Michael Haughton took over as manager, but she remained on his label Blackground Records until her death on August 25, 2001, from a plane crash in the Bahamas. [2] He managed and produced The Winans, and was a percussionist on their albums Let My People Go and Decisions. Hankerson also managed Toni Braxton and R. Kelly.

He was once a television producer and a politician in Detroit, Michigan. Barry has been a strong supporter of Barack Obama, contributing heavily to both campaigns and producing a movie on him in 2012 titled The Obama Effect for the newly launched Blackground Pictures. It was directed by Charles S. Dutton and stars him, Katt Williams and Meagan Good. Filming did not go smoothly.[3] He starred in one movie, Pipe Dreams, with his ex-wife. He also produced Ron Milner's play Don't Get God Started in 1988.

Personal life[edit]

Hankerson married Gladys Knight in October 1974; after four years the couple divorced.[4][5] He has two sons; one with Knight, Shanga-Ali Hankerson[4] and Jomo Hankerson,[5] his oldest son, from a previous marriage. Hankerson is the brother of Diane Haughton and uncle to her and Michael Haughton's two children, American R&B singer Aaliyah and Rashad Haughton.

Hankerson is also known for his commitment to troubled youth, and has made substantial charitable contributions to private organizations that assist those youth in need of intervention. Hankerson's music labels decline to produce music containing lyrics that encourage the use of illicit drugs or irresponsible sexual behavior. Instead, artists signed by Hankerson promote positive ways for youth to succeed and become productive adults in society.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Birth reference - Barry Nankerson". Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Asante, David (8 October 2012). "That Grape Juice Interviews Barry Hankerson ( Aaliyah's Uncle / BlackGround CEO)". That Grape Juice. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  3. ^[permanent dead link][permanent dead link][unreliable source?]
  4. ^ a b "Gladys Knight". HighBeam™ Research, Inc. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Neither One of Us". Blast from the Past. Retrieved 24 January 2013.